Welcoming 2020… Travel, travel, travel, travel!

Traditions to Welcome a Happy New Year *2020* There are so many wonderful traditions from every part of the globe when it comes to bringing in the New Year. Fellow citizens of the world jump into the new year, eat grapes in synchrony with the stroke(12) of the clock at midnight, kiss a loved one, crack open the windows and … Read more

In the Footsteps of St. Paul…Thessaloniki

St Pauls Church

Much like today, when Thessaloniki is considered “The Bride of Thermaikos”, in 50 AD, it is a vibrant city with endless culture and religious opportunity. Over the course of three consecutive weeks, St. Paul visits the Jewish synagogue and preaches to the attendees. Many who hear him speak embrace Christianity, but those who do not … Read more

Footsteps of St. Paul…Veroia

First mentioned in the writings of Thudydides in 432 BC, Veroia is an old city even by the standards of Greece. There is evidence that Veroia, historically also spelled Berea, was populated as early as 1000 BC. St. Paul came to the city and preached during Roman Rule, and its residents were among the first … Read more

Footsteps of St. Paul… Philippi and Lydia

The Archaeological Site of Philippi is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Monuments and the most important site in the Easter Macedonian region of Greece.  Philippi was a major city northwest of the nearby island, Thasos. Its original name was Crenides (Κρηνῖδες, Krenides “Fountains”) after its establishment by Thasian colonists in 360/359 BC. However the city was renamed … Read more

Footsteps of St. Paul… Kavala

In discussing the highlights of Insiders Tours Footsteps of St. Paul Odyssey, we begin with Kavala, previously know as Neapolis in biblical times. Neapolis is the present-day city of Kavala. Located along the crystal clear blue waters of Eastern Macedonia in Northern Greece, with its prime geographical location, its natural port, and its proximity to … Read more

Footsteps of St. Paul Odyssey

Highlights of Insiders Tours Route during In The Footsteps of St. Paul Odyssey The route the Apostle of Nations, Apostle Paul, followed in Greece is one of the most remarkable religious routes in the world. Although he was not one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, he spread the word of Christianity above all others and was … Read more

Introduction to Athens

Congrats. You’ve decided on a trip to Greece. First stop, and city of arrival, Athens. While friends say, hit the islands, you know better. Time in the capital city is a must. It’s a treasure-trove of wonders, dotted with history through the ages. From ancient, to byzantine and medieval times, Athens has been anointed with … Read more

Santorini Seven Day Getaway

Experience the Magic that is Santorini From the captivating Caldera to the mesmerizing beaches Experience beautiful highlights of Santorini, while immersing yourself in the culture and savoring the distinct local tastes.   Cost & Dates   Set your calendars. Tours begin on the first Sunday of each month. Please note availability and pricing varies according to … Read more

Easter in Greece, a country united in celebration!

“Hristos Anesti!” – Christ Has Risen
“Alithos o Kirios” – Truly He Has

These are words that ring throughout Greece on Orthodox Easter Sunday and for many days to follow the highest holy day of the year. Neighbors greet each other with this, store attendants welcome customers as such, and with the hope and love of the season, communities come together and live in the glorious moment, letting the challenges of daily life sit on the sideline for a bit. As visitors to a country of citizens whose faith is a national religion, travelers are engulfed with the festivities.

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, traditions vary throughout the land both leading up to Easter and on Easter day. Some communities, such as the Chios Island engage in a ‘roketopolemo’ with fireworks lighting the sky. In Agios Nikolas, Crete, bonfires of the burning of Judas dot the waters. On the island of Corfu, pictured above, residents gather early for the first resurrection and symbolic pot-smashing in the square, then fireworks in the sky, and eventually more bands parading through the town in culmination of Holy Week and the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Lights frame cliffs of Santorini, illuminating the island in hope and faith. The mainland is steeped in song of faith as church bells ring, and citizens gather to receive the Holy Light.

At midnight, on Holy Saturday, the Eternal Light originates every year at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Orthodox Easter Holy Fire ceremony sees worshipers lighting torches and candles from a flame they believe was miraculously lit at the tomb of Jesus on the eve of Orthodox Easter. The Holy Fire is taken by Greek military jets to Greece, and then to other Orthodox communities across the world.

The familiar and savory smell of Easter fills the air on Sunday and tease our tummies…it’s time…Easter Glendi!

While words cannot do justice to the experience of Holy Week and Easter in Greece, we’re sharing photos of this time in the gallery below. These are moments during all of Holy Week. Not all pictures are our own, and we try to credit the original postings, but all pictures depict the spirit and hope of the season.

From our family to yours, Insiders Tours Greece sends endless wishes of a Happy Easter!

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